Unwanted phone calls

I’m quite glad that the Lib Dems have been told off for their cold calling stunt. It’s difficult to imagine quite what was going through their minds when they came up with that one.

I am no fan of telephones at the best of times. In fact, I come close to detesting the things. Mike Smith had a brilliant rant about it a few months back that pretty much sums up my feelings.

As if it’s not bad enough that someone expects you to drop everything, some people have the audacity to do this with the aim of extracting pounds from your wallet. I will never forget the time I answered the phone only to be greeted with this almighty rude salutation, delivered in a gruff, hectoring manner: “This is just a survey, I am not trying to sell you anything. How many windows do you need double-glazed: two, three, four or the whole house?” I just love the fact that zero and even one were not options.

Others try getting you to spend half an hour answering tedious market research questions. Some despicable people even try to get you to vote for them!

I am quite disappointed in the Lib Dems. It has become a bit of a theme of this blog that I am disappointed in all of the parties and am considering not voting. As things stand, the Lib Dems are the only party that I would even consider voting. But their odd decision to interrupt people’s lives with a robotic version of Nick Clegg just makes me wonder what is going on with them.

What makes it all the worse is that you normally expect the Lib Dems to be dead against this sort of thing. They have pretty sound views on privacy and have campaigned in the past against cold callers. I think a lot of people who are members of the Lib Dems normally take a dim view of this sort of thing. It’s good to see that, for instance, Stephen Glenn has criticised the tactic and the people at Lib Dem Voice seem fairly unhappy about it as well.

These calls do invade your privacy, they are intrusive and annoying. Nowadays I do not answer the phone if the number is withheld unless I am expecting a phone call. If I have been at the receiving end of this phone call by a recorded Nick Clegg, I would probably decide not to vote for him.

6 comments

  1. I think there is a good deal of hypocrisy going on here with the criticism of the LibDems; I agree they need to be slapped down and not do it again, but I recall before the last Scottish elections and before the last General election too, I had telephone cold calls from the SNP voiced by ‘Sir’ Sean Connery. I seem also to recall that before the last GE I had cold calls from both the Conservatives and Labour, too. Despite having signed up for the TPS these folks seems to think they can ignore industry codes for cold-calling, I don’t recall much hoo-haa when it was the SNP doing it, or Labour or the Conservatives. I loathe most things about the LibDems, but they’re not so different from all the others in their deliberate flouting of the very flimsy rules which surround the cold-calling industry.

  2. Bill, you’re right that all the parties are guilty. But like I said in my post, my disappointment stems from the fact that the Lib Dems have actually campaigned against this sort of thing in the past and you would really expect better from them on this issue in my opinion.

  3. Seriously, I would never consider the option of not voting, even though usually it tends to be for the best of a bad bunch.

  4. No political party has ever been stupid enough to try phoning my house at election time. I gather my mum was persuasive/forceful enough to dissuade them when she first moved into the house. Having TPS helps (though it’s not foolproof for other things – every so often there’ll be a spate of calls from a particular industry). What helps more is that the incumbent has such a good reputation that parties tend to focus their electioneering efforts elsewhere. As for local elections, the last council elections did not feature enough candidates to have a contested election…